How you can help - Boaters and Fishers

Before launching a watercraft or placing water-related equipment into a water body in Manitoba it must be free of: aquatic invasive species, aquatic plants and mud; and standing water. All water must be drained so it does not drain into any water body or storm sewer.

Before leaving the boat launch at any water body in Manitoba, you must:

CLEAN and remove all AIS and aquatic plants. Inspect the watercraft, trailer, motor vehicle and water-related equipment visually, while running your hands over the surfaces that were submerged in the water. Recently settled zebra mussels feel like sandpaper, but may not be noticeable to the naked eye.

    • Watercraft interior and exterior:
      • Entire hull floor, transom wall, ballast tanks, live wells, lights, pitot tube, depth sounders, trim tabs, cavitation plates, speedometer, brackets,  thru-hull fittings, depth transducers, water intakes and outlets.
    • Motor and trolling motor: Entire exterior housing, propeller, propeller shaft, propeller shaft support, propeller gears, propulsion units, lower unit, gimbal area, water intakes and outlets
    • Water-related equipment: All fishing equipment, lines and ropes, anchors, float belts, PFDs, float cushions, water skis and tow ropes, ski gloves, waterfowl decoys and blinds, clothing and footwear, fenders, floats, bait containers, and external ballast bags
    • Trailer: Trailer frame, axles, license plate and holders, lights and wiring, fenders, hangers, tires, wheel wells and wheels, rollers and bunks, wiring, springs, pockets and hollow spaces
    • Motor Vehicle: back bumper, wheel wells and hitch

Common places where aquatic invasive species like Zebra Mussels can be found on a boat and trailer.

DRAIN all water from the watercraft (ex: motor, live well, bilge, ballast tanks, compartments) and water-related equipment (ex: bait buckets). Pull drain plugs and open valves and/or operate pumps to expel water.

DRY completely (or decontaminate) water-related equipment prior to placing it into any other water body. Any hard-to-drain areas or compartments of the watercraft should be dried with a towel. To facilitate drying, leave water-related equipment and watercraft in the hot summer sun for at least five days. Leave live wells, bait buckets and storage compartment doors open to allow for drying.

Drying times increase greatly in the spring and fall due to increased humidity and lower temperatures. Three consecutive days of freezing at -10 °C or colder can also be used as decontamination option.

Larval zebra mussels, called veligers, die quickly out of water. Adult zebra mussels (with shells) can survive seven to 30 days out of water in damp, cool conditions.

DISPOSE of unwanted bait and worms in the trash, and dump bait bucket water on land. Bait, or the water in which they are held, may introduce diseases which can impact native fish and other aquatic life. Refer to the Manitoba Anglers’ Guide for more information on bait use.

Never release aquarium pets, plants or water into lakes, rivers or wetlands. 

Zebra mussels and other AIS such as spiny waterflea and black algae have been found here.  If you discover zebra mussels or any other AIS  elsewhere, or to report any potential AIS, go to: Report a Aquatic Invasive Species link, or call 1-87-STOP AIS-0 (1-877-867-2470).

Aquatic Invasive species such as zebra mussels, spiny waterflea, rusty crayfish, and four species of invasive carp are listed in schedules attached to the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulation (SOR/2015-0212) under the federal Fisheries Act and the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations under The Water Protection Act. Possessing any of these listed species in Manitoba is illegal. To learn about the species subject to prohibitions and controls visit the federal regulation site at the Canadian government's law website and the provincial regulation site at the Provincial government’s law website.